WHILE OUR EYES ARE ELSEWHERE – AT 8:51 A.M. ET: We've warned that one effect of our economic crisis is that it causes us to avert our eyes from foreign threats. The same thing happened during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Those foreign threats will not go away now, any more than they did then. From The Wall Street Journal:
BEIJING—China sent its first aircraft carrier to sea, a defining moment in its effort to become a top-tier naval power that seeks to challenge U.S. military supremacy in Asia and protect Chinese economic interests that now span the globe.
The carrier, based on an empty hull bought from Ukraine, sounded its horn three times as it plowed through fog around the northeastern port of Dalian early Wednesday to begin its first sea trials, according to a Twitter-like service by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The vessel, nearly 1,000 feet long, is far from fully operational: It has a new engine, radar, guns and other equipment, but has limited combat potential without backup from other carriers and an array of support ships. For the moment, it will be used mainly for training personnel, especially fighter pilots who must learn to take off from and land on a moving deck.
And they will learn. The Chinese are a hard-working intense people. "Made in China," once unheard of, has now become a staple I.D. for American electronics.
The vessel... sends a powerful message both to China's domestic audience, for whom a carrier has for decades been equated with national strength, and to the U.S. and its regional allies, many of whom are embroiled in territorial disputes with Beijing.
It is the most potent symbol yet of China's long-term desire to develop the power both to deny U.S. naval access to Asian waters and to protect its global economic interests, including shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and oil sources in the Middle East.
COMMENT: Please note that, as this is happening, the Democrats in this country want to slash the defense budget to dangerous levels. Sadly, there are some on the fringe right who want to go along with that.
History doesn't repeat itself, but the psychology of history repeats itself. We averted our eyes in the 1930s, and got a bullet right between them at Pearl Harbor. Next time, unless we are vigilant, and led by wise leaders who will remind Americans of foreign danger, the bullet may be nuclear.
August 11, 2011